How Is The Treatment For Prescription Drug Addiction Different?

prescription drug addiction treatment

Prescription drug addiction is a serious problem in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about one in four people who abuse prescription drugs will develop an addiction.

prescription drug addiction therapy
Source: Pexels

While there are similarities between addiction to illicit drugs and prescription medications, there are also important differences. Here we will explore some of those differences and how they affect treatment methods.

What Is Prescription Drug Addiction?

Addiction to prescription drugs is a chronic relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. People with this disorder may feel unable to control their drug use and may continue using even when it causes problems in their lives.

While anyone can become addicted to prescription drugs, some people are more vulnerable than others. Factors that may increase the risk of addiction include:

  • A family history of addiction
  • Anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders
  • A history of trauma or abuse
  • Easy access to prescription drugs
  • Chronic pain

What Are the Differences Between Addiction to Prescription Drugs and Other Drugs?

The most significant difference between prescription drug addiction and addiction to other substances is the drug’s legal status. Prescription drugs are legal when prescribed by a doctor for a specific medical purpose. However, when these drugs are used for non-medical reasons, they become illegal.

prescription drug addiction treatment program
Source: Roots Through Recovery

Another important difference is that prescription drugs are typically taken orally, while illicit drugs are often injected. This route of administration can affect the speed at which the drug reaches the brain and how long its effects last.

Prescription drugs also tend to be more potent than other drugs and are often taken in higher doses. This increases the risk of overdose and other serious side effects.

What Are the Treatment Options for Prescription Drug Addiction?

Treatment for prescription drug addiction typically includes a combination of medication and therapy. Medications may be used to help reduce cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms. Commonly prescribed medications include buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone.


Therapy can help people with prescription drug addiction to identify triggers for their use, develop coping mechanisms for dealing with cravings, and overcome any underlying mental health disorders. Therapy may be provided in individual or group settings, and it may be combined with medication-assisted treatment.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

Treatment for prescription drug addiction can be provided in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Inpatient treatment typically involves a stay at a residential facility where you will receive 24-hour care. This type of treatment is often recommended for people with severe addictions or those who have relapsed after previous attempts at recovery.

On the other hand, outpatient treatment allows you to live at home and attend regular therapy sessions. This treatment is generally recommended for people with less severe addictions who have a strong support system at home.

residential prescription drug addiction treatment
Source: Pexels

How to Choose a Treatment Program

There are many factors to consider when choosing a treatment program for prescription drug addiction. It is important to find a program that meets your unique needs and that you feel comfortable with.

Some things you may want to consider include:

  • The types of treatments offered: Does the program offer medication-assisted treatment? Does it use a 12-step or other evidence-based approach?
  • The length of the program: How long will you be in treatment? Is there a step-down process that allows you to gradually transition back to your normal life?
  • The cost of the program: Can you afford the treatment fees? Does your insurance cover any of the costs?
  • The location of the program: Is the treatment center easily accessible? Will you have to travel far from home to attend treatment
  • The setting of the program (inpatient or outpatient): Which type of treatment do you feel would be most beneficial for you?

Deciding to seek treatment for prescription drug addiction is a significant step in your recovery journey. Taking the time to research your options and choose the right program can help increase your chances of success.

inpatient prescription drug addiction treatment
Source: Roots Through Recovery

Common FAQS About Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment


How effective is the treatment for prescription drug addiction?

Treatment for prescription drug addiction can be highly effective. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, research has shown that a combination of medication and behavioral therapy is the most effective approach to treating this type of addiction.

How long does treatment last?

The length of treatment will vary depending on the individual. Some people may need to stay in treatment for several weeks or months, while others may need to remain in treatment for a year or more.

What are the chances of relapse?

Relapse is always a possibility in recovery from any type of addiction. However, there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of relapse, such as attending support groups, taking medication as prescribed, and avoiding triggers.

What are the side effects of treatment?

The side effects of treatment will vary depending on the type of treatment you receive. Medication-assisted treatment may cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness. These side effects are typically mild and go away with time.

Is there a cure for prescription drug addiction?

There is no cure for addiction, but it is a treatable condition. People with prescription drug addiction can learn to manage their disorder and live productive, healthy lives with proper treatment.

Get The Right Treatment Today!

When you’re struggling with prescription drug addiction, it can feel like there’s no way out. But with the right treatment, you can overcome your addiction and get your life back on track.

At Roots Recovery Center, we offer various evidence-based treatment options designed to meet your unique needs. We offer inpatient and outpatient treatment, so you can choose the right level of care for you.

We also offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for those who qualify. MAT is an effective treatment option that combines medication with counseling and other support services.

If you’re ready to start your recovery journey, contact us today to learn more about our program or to schedule a free consultation. We’ll help you get on the path to a healthier, happier life.

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